Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Joy of Folding Laundry

We all have our own feelings about things like dishes, vacuuming, dusting, and laundry (folding/putting away). I'm not going to get into all of that right now. I wanted to share one reason why I like to fold laundry with the hope that it would be an encouragement to you and perhaps spur you on to love and good deeds. :)

Years ago I came across this bookmark published by Navigators that shared 31 Biblical Virtues to Pray for Your Kids.  I also happened to find a blog post on praying for your children that had this prayer calendar from Inspired to Action. The calendar was adapted with permission from Bob Hostetler, the man who wrote the bookmark. So, after a while of realizing that I needed to figure out a way that I could actually USE this calendar instead of just keeping it nicely folded in my Bible, I decided to type it up large enough so that I could read it while it was hanging on the wall. I made it pretty to look at and taped it on the basement walls and washer which aren't always pretty to look at. Then as I pull clothes out of the dryer to fold I pick a prayer and begin praying it for each person (whoever "owns" the item I am folding...even myself). :) Anyway, I don't always have time to enjoy folding laundry, but making laundry folding time a time of more concentrated and intentional prayer has been no less than a delight. So click through on the links above and get your own calendars and start praying! Here are some photos to inspire you. :)


And this is who I'm praying for: 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

multitude monday

...continuing my Multitude Monday list with pictures...

432. our sweet little girl turning 8...we took her to Paint-It Pottery and she painted the plate in the picture

434. boys, rocks, water, dinosaur rain boots...continuing our nature study

435. little girls exploring every nook and cranny

436. Daddy working hard to provide for his family

437. surprise faces

438. Silly faces

438. irresistible faces...(I think big sister was walking around with the camera :) and got those three shots)
438. the pictures that little kids take (I didn't post them all...I wanted to spare you from pictures of the TV, VCR closeups, toys, and random other things they find to take blurry pictures of. :)

439. her first night in her new big girl bed that Daddy built her

440. new beds! sisters sharing a room...I'll share more pictures when they are completed.

441. story time with big sister

442. a reason to make a "welcome baby" card

443. a fun niece to make a fun birthday card for

444. a sweet little girl to make a sweet birthday card for

445. Selah having fun in her new "big girl" bed! Can you believe it...milestones of taking down the baby bed and putting her into a toddler bed!!

446. baby teeth :)

447. big eyes

448. baby curls

449. little boys
 450. scripture to meditate on: 
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
 and before you were born, I consecrated you...Jeremiah 1:5

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

This week, holy week, I've been trying read and meditate on scriptures that focus on Jesus's last week before his crucifixion. Today, something else caught my eye as I turned the pages of my Bible, but in every way it so perfectly relates to this week, Jesus's purpose in coming and dying, and to thoughts I've been sharing and discussing with friends lately.

Luke 14:25-33 are verses that are probably familiar to most of us. Let me try to share a bit of this, and some of Matthew Henry's commentary on these verses, along with some interesting points that Bob Burney made on these verses at a marriage conference I recently attended.

  Luke 14:26 If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father 
and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters,
 yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.

 Matthew Henry states, "Christ's disciples must be willing to forsake that which was very dear, rather than forsake their interest in Christ. He is not sincere, he will not be constant and persevering unless he loves Christ better than anything in this world--even his own life.Man can look on houses and lands with contempt, but every good man loves his relatives; and yet if he becomes a disciple of Christ, he must comparatively hate them. Not that their persons must be in any degree hated, but our comfort and satisfaction in them must be lost and swallowed up in our love for Christ. When our duty to our parents comes into competition with our evident duty to Christ, we must give Christ the preference. Every man loves his own life, no man ever yet hated it; and we cannot be Christ's disciples if we do not love him better than our own lives." (than our SELF). 

Simply said: If you put anyone above me, you can not be my disciple. 

Luke 14:27 Whoever does not 
bear his own cross and come after me
cannot be my disciple.
Bob Burney commented on this and said that we as Christians often focus on this phrase "bear our cross" too much. We forget that crosses weren't meant to be carried around, they were made for crucifixion. Crosses are meant to die on, not carry around. We need to deny our selves, die to our selves daily (Luke 9:23) and follow Christ. 

Luke 14:33 So therefore, any one of you who does not 
renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple. 
Bob went on to say the obvious: A crucified (dead) person has no rights. 

Why can't I remember that with every breath? Die to myself. My SELF is so strong...and so must be denied, crucified. When, I die to myself, just as Jesus did, I give up my rights and am able to truly love others as He loved me, and serve others as he served. It kind of goes in a circle:

Die to self:  love one another as Christ loved us:  serve others  (repeat)

Well, I don't know if that makes any sense. It made sense to me this morning when I was struggling with dying to myself and giving up my rights. When we die to ourselves and give up our rights, and truly let the Lord reign on the throne of our hearts, then we will begin to bear fruit. 
John 12:24 Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat 
falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone;
 but if it dies, it bears much fruit.

Here are some good verses to remind us about dying to ourselves. 

Here is an excellent sermon by John Piper on "As I Have Loved You, Love One Another". It fits right in with Holy Week readings too. (if you read this whole post and couldn't follow my train of thinking, then at least listen to this sermon, it will make it up to you)...really this is a good message that spurred me to dig into certain scriptures for myself as it shed light on things I had previously misunderstood. 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Resurrection Garden

Have you seen this idea for an "Easter Garden"?
Plant an Easter Garden!  Using potting soil, a tiny buried flower pot for the tomb, shade grass seed, and crosses we made from twigs.  Sprinkle grass seed generously on top of dirt, keep moistened using a spray water bottle.  Spritz it several times a day. Set it in a warm sunny location.  Sprouts in 7-10 days so plan ahead. On Good Friday, put a little lego Jesus inside and slide rock to seal tomb.  On Sunday the tomb is EMPTY! He is Risen! He is Risen indeed!
Plant an Easter Garden! Using potting soil, a tiny buried flower pot for the tomb, shade grass seed, and crosses we made from twigs. Sprinkle grass seed generously on top of dirt, keep moistened using a spray water bottle. Spritz it several times a day. Set it in a warm sunny location. Sprouts in 7-10 days so plan ahead. On Good Friday, put a little lego Jesus inside and slide rock to seal tomb. On Sunday the tomb is EMPTY! He is Risen! He is Risen indeed!

I kept seeing it all over Pinterest. Then, Ann Voskamp published a post about creating a Grace Garden. I really wanted to do this, but of course I waited until almost the last minute. :)  We were sort of having a rough day and we needed something to get us back on track, so I packed the kids into the van and we ran to Wal-Mart. The Lord helped me find some very inexpensive plants, a small terra cotta pot, a bag of potting soil for $.97. I couldn't figure out what to do for the pot. They didn't seem to have the right shape basket or pot or anything for what I wanted to do AND in the price range I needed to be in. So I decided to use one of the cocoa liners and put it in one of the plastic liners that you are supposed to set your pots in to catch the water that drains out of the bottom, both of these cost under a dollar! So, I think I maybe spent a total of $12.00 on this project. When we got home, the kids gathered up some stones. We still need to find a large one to cover the opening of the "tomb".

We plan to follow the ideas that Ann outlines and on Friday we will shape a caterpillar out of clay and wrap it in cloth. Then on Sunday only the cloth will be left behind and a butterfly (new life) will be in the garden.
The kids have this all figured out: I will get the cloth, Lucy is going to make the butterfly, Jude is going to shape the caterpillar, and Mayme is going to make the puppy (out of play dough)...don't ask me how the puppy relates, she just insisted. :) Tyson said the puppy will remind us how faithful Jesus is. Also, we have a stone hidden in the garden, and on Sunday we will reveal it. Lucy wrote the word "grace" on it and we will be reminded of God's grace in giving us new life.

Once we had our garden in place on the table, there was no way we could fit our candle wreath. Instead, I took one of the add on sections that holds 8 candles. This worked perfectly to represent the days Palm Sunday to Easter. We'll light a candle each day until Friday when everything went dark at noon as Jesus died on the cross. I don't know what to do about Saturday...I guess nothing, just wait and remember. Sunday we will light them again and celebrate the resurrection and grace and new life.

I'm really excited about this. I hope it becomes a new tradition in our home. A constant visual reminder during the most important week in our Christian faith.


My little "helper" with a banana bread crumb face. 

Just having some fun with some new editing options on Picasa. :)

Today, I made the three crosses out of some sticks in the yard. 

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Nature Study

Well, we just returned home from our first successful Nature Study Group outings! Yeah! It was SO much fun. Charlotte Mason strongly encouraged nature study. She wanted the children to learn to observe nature and really see what was around them. She wanted them to form relationships with nature. It has been said that nature can be a friend to us in such a way that we can never feel alone if we've developed a relationship with the world around this. I believe this is true because you can't truly see the world around you and not be reminded of our great God! He reveals himself to us in so many ways through His creation. There is so much to see and discover about God through nature. I could go on and on about this, but I won't right now because soon I need to go and make lunch for my little clan. I wanted to form a group though because I need help getting myself away from these four walls and out into nature on a regular basis even though I know how much I need the "re-creation" God gives us through being in His creation.

We met on the river walk this morning. The kids immediately began a game of "Pooh Sticks". If you aren't sure what I'm talking about, you've never read or watched Winnie the Pooh. :) anyway the began collecting sticks, throwing them off one side of the bridge and watching them come out the other side, seeing which would come first and watching where it would be carried off to. For the sake of formality, I had a plan to start the group with prayer and a Bible verse, but the kids didn't need to be instructed of what to do in any way. Nature study is natural to them. We had such a delightful time. What a joy it was to watch them run along the river path exploring and playing together. They had so much fun and only interrupted their exuberant play to show us or tell us about some amazing discovery that they made.

I tried to not interrupt them too much, except with an occasional gentle directing towards something neat that I had discovered or with a necessary word of caution. I really wanted them to find something that interested them to draw in their nature journals, but I didn't want to force it, so I held myself back from suggestions. Then right at the end, they suggested that they had better draw something for their journals. Lucy chose an interesting gall. The kids came running to us with it and described it as the world's biggest peanut, I think. A gall is an abnormal outgrowth on a plant caused by a fungus or insect or parasite, etc. After looking at the plant more closely while she drew it, I wondered if it was goldenrod. Sure enough, there is such a thing as Goldenrod Gall cause by the Goldenrod Gall Fly. Needless to say, I am very excited (perhaps more so than the children are) and I can't wait for our next nature study group.

Here is a quick plan that I have for our next Nature Study group to make things easier on me preparation wise since we plan to do this about twice a month. I want to have a designated back-pack that I can just add a few last minute supplies to and go. I plan to pack it with several items that will be designated just to this bag:
-diapers and wipes (for Selah)
-colored pencils
-extra paper
-field guides
-magnifying glass
-ziploc baggies (a friend's suggestion for interesting finds to take home)
-a container (for interesting bugs/creatures to take home)
-first aid kit, just in case
-kid sized blanket or towel
Then at the last minute, I can throw in a water bottle, snacks, a camera, and our nature journals if we wish to bring them that day.

There is also this little portable flower press that would be fun to make with the kids and keep with us.

Now the fun part, here are some pictures for you:

Rune of Riches
Florence Converse

I have a golden ball
A big, bright, shining one,
Pure gold; and it is all
Mine. - It is the sun.

I have a silver ball,
A white and glistening stone
That other people call
The moon; - my very own!

The jewel things that prick
My cushion's soft blue cover
Are mine, - my stars, thick, thick,
Scattered the sky all over.

And everything's that mine
Is yours, and yours, and yours, -
The shimmer and the shine!-
Let's lock our wealth outdoors!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Blue Bowl

All day I did the little things,
The little things that do not show;
I brought the kindling for the fire
I set the candles in a row,
I filled a bowl with marigolds,
The shallow bowl you love the best--
And made the house a pleasant place
Where weariness might take its rest.

The hours sped on, my eager feet
Could not keep pace with my desire.
So much to do, so little time!
I could not let my body tire;
Yet, when the coming of the night
Blotted the garden from my sight,
And on the narrow, graveled walks
Between the guarding flower stalks
I heard your step: I was not through.

You came into the quiet room
That glowed enchanted with the bloom
Of yellow flame. I saw your face,
Illumined by the firelit space,
Slowly grow still and comforted-
"It's good to be at home," you said.

Blanche Bane Kuder

Doesn't this poem so beautifully describe what it is like to be a wife and mother? I love it! I discovered this poem in a book called Everyday Graces by Karen Santorum. This is a wonderful book for children about manners. Karen has collected poems, short stories and excerpts from books to illustrate different manners to children in a simple and gentle way. 

Here are some other manners books that I've heard are good and would love to add to our collection:


Thursday, February 23, 2012

for you

I've been having a little bit of fun with some new stamping/scrap booking software that Tyson got me for my birthday. I thought I would share a couple things that I've made with a sort of "free printable". I think you should be able to click on the pictures (if you are visiting my blog) and print them out. Put them around your house and let the word of God work in your life.

This verse has become my mothering "motto" lately. :)
Although it is time to review it in more depth once again

I thought this one was a great way to start my prayer before reading my Bible! The paper and embellishments for this one were kindly offered as a  free download from Shabby Princess.
If you print one out, let me know how it works for you. Someone let me know though if it doesn't work. :)
 Maybe I need to find a different way to share the files.

God Bless You!

***Note: you may need to right click on the image and save/copy it, then paste it in Word or something to be able to resize it.***

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

heather's hands

I've had some good reasons to make cards the last couple of months. My favorite reason to make them is to give them as gifts...door prizes for baby/wedding showers. Just wanted to share...and also have pics in a handy place for me to refer back to. A lot of them use a simple layout with pretty papers in order to save time when I need to make a lot of them in a short amount of time.

This one was not my original idea. I got it from a card kit that I bought from our local scrap booking store. I love how they used wooden paper to make the button for this card!!

I wish I could take credit for this one too, but again it was from a card kit from the same store. 

...another card kit one...I couldn't resist it!

This one I found the idea for on split coast stampers. It differs a little from the original. 

I tried to remake this one as best as I could with what I had...the original idea came from the SU catalog.

This one I found the idea for on Pinterest. Here is the original.

I have a pinterest board with all my card/stamping ideas. I love it because I can see all the ideas at once and have ideas ready for when I need to make a card. Like this one:

I tried my own version of this card and it turned out super cute. It's a little different because I didn't have the same embossing folder..or the same ribbon and button, etc., but it still turned out super cute.

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